Improving and improvising musician.

 I'll never forget working with Butch Morris back in the 90's and as we prepared for our run with New York Skyscraper at Context in the Bowery, he told me that I should consider playing my own warm up exercises and not copying someone elses. It was kind of a break through perspective for me. At the time I was taking some lessons with David Weber, playing freelancing gigs and working with this incredible creative visionary who changed my life forever. Butch introduced me to a sound pallette that I never thought possible. By the end of our run, I was seeing colors as we played...I mean maybe it was sleep deprivation, but the only time in my life when I really did experience synesthesia.
It's a few years later now and Butch Morris has now sadly passed. I've been checking out some of his video footage and his voice. He had a gentle voice, pleading and insistent, he could priase and cut in the same sentence. Knowing his history and what he had acheived and how he worked with us, I could not help but like and respect him at the same time. He wasnt easy to work for, you had to really accept that he was the boss and he carved and wrestled with our sounds every second of the training and in the performances we did. Conduction was an exceptionally creative musical experince and Butch Morris was Champion of improvised music. He saw the gap between improvised and composed music, knew the incredible power of collective composition and also belived in structure and technique. There is no doubt that my own musical curiosity was fueled by this great man, in the short times I worked with him, he profoundly influenced me. He told me it was alright to be myself.
Here is a Youtube video of Conduction #188:
The Composition of Conduction: